Interpersonal skills are important in college and in life. They can help you make friends, get along with professors, and succeed in relationships.
Even in the workplace, you can improve interpersonal skills to get a job, communicate effectively with co-workers, or develop specific skills to build rapport with customers.
What interpersonal skills mean
Interpersonal skills are the communication and social skills that we use to interact with other people.
They can be divided into four main categories: communication skills, social skills, active listening, and emotional intelligence.
Communication skills involve both verbal and nonverbal communication, and they allow us to express ourselves clearly and effectively.
Social skills involve our ability to interact with others positively, and they include things like cooperation, empathy, and assertiveness.
Active listening is a communication skill that involves paying attention to what the other person is saying, and then providing feedback.
Emotional intelligence involves our ability to understand and manage our own emotions, as well as the emotions of others.
If we have strong interpersonal skills, we will be better able to build relationships, resolve conflicts, and achieve our goals.
Interpersonal vs Intrapersonal Skills
Most people think of interpersonal skills as the ability to interact with others. And while that is certainly a big part of it, there is more to it than that.
Interpersonal skills also involve listening and understanding what other people are saying.
It’s about being able to see both sides of every issue and being able to find common ground. These skills are important in both personal and professional relationships.
Intrapersonal skills, on the other hand, are those skills that we use to understand ourselves. They include things like self-awareness, self-management, and emotional intelligence.
These skills are just as important as interpersonal skills because they help us to be better people.
Without intrapersonal skills, we would have a hard time managing our own thoughts and emotions, setting boundaries, and dealing with difficult situations.
Why interpersonal skills are important
Many know the importance of hard skills or the technical abilities that are required to do a particular job. However, interpersonal skills, sometimes known as soft skills, are just as important in the workplace.
These are the abilities that allow us to interact effectively with other people, and they can be vital in building relationships, help solve problems, and creating a positive work environment.
Although we all have our own unique set of interpersonal skills, there is always room for improvement.
There are many books and online resources that can offer advice on how to improve interpersonal skills.
With a little effort, we can all benefit from better communication and teamwork in the workplace.
Examples of good interpersonal skills in action
Body language is often said to be a critical interpersonal skill. It includes facial expressions, eye contact, and body posture. Good body language can make you appear more approachable and can put others at ease.
It can also be used to show interest and engagement in a conversation. For example, maintaining eye contact shows that you are interested in what the other person is saying, while a smile conveys warmth and friendliness.
It’s important to be aware of the body language you’re displaying.
Maintaining a positive attitude is another important interpersonal skill. This doesn’t mean that you have to be happy all the time, but it does mean being respectful and open-minded towards others.
A positive attitude can make you more likable and can help diffuse difficult situations. It also conveys confidence, which can be helpful in both personal and professional interactions.
Active listening is another key interpersonal skill. It involves genuinely paying attention to what the other person is saying, without interruption or judgment.
It demonstrates that you value and are interested in what the person has to say.
It can also help build rapport and trust, as well as improve communication. Make the other person feel like what they have to say is worth listening to.
These are just a few examples of good interpersonal skills in action. By using these skills, you can create positive relationships with those around you and build a foundation for success in all areas of your life.
Tips for developing better relationships with others
Interpersonal communication is one of the most important skills that you can possess in your personal and professional life. Whether you are looking for a job, maintaining a current job, or trying to develop better relationships with colleagues, interpersonal communication skills are key.
There are four key aspects of interpersonal communication: verbal, nonverbal, emotional, and written. Each of these skills can be developed and improved with practice.
For example, if you want to become better at verbal communication, try role-playing different scenarios with a friend or family member.
Or, if you want to work on your nonverbal communication, pay attention to your body language and facial expressions in different social situations.
Improving your interpersonal communication skills takes time and effort, but it is worth it! When you develop better relationships with others, you will find that your life is more enjoyable and fulfilling.
There are many ways to improve your own interpersonal skills. Some can be quick habits to build into your day while others should be repeatedly focused on to gain good interpersonal skills. Regardless these should be practiced and over time they’ll become natural.
Here are a few things you can apply to your day to help you develop good interpersonal skills.
1. Say hello to people you pass in the hallway, even if you don’t know them
2. Smile at people – it makes them feel more comfortable around you
3. Make small talk with people, even if you don’t have anything in common
4. Offer to help others when you can, even if it’s just carrying a heavy box for them
5. Be patient and understanding with others, even if they’re being difficult
6. Pay attention to your body language and make sure you’re sending the right signals
7. Be aware of your tone of voice and make sure it’s respectful
8. Take the time to listen to what the other person is saying and listen carefully
9. Avoid interrupting or talking over them
10. Be patient and don’t rush through conversations
11. Don’t criticize or judge others, even if you don’t agree with them
If you want to build better relationships and improve key areas of your life, start developing your interpersonal skills. The more practice you have speaking and listening effectively, the better off you’ll be.
These pointers should get you on the road to success. Remember, it takes time and effort to become an effective communicator, but the rewards are worth it!
What strategies will you use to improve your interpersonal skills?